Good Arguments on the Assault Weapons Issue

Chris Cox has an article in FrontPage Magazine that outlines the issue well:

Many fully-automatic firearms can fire 10 rounds in a second, which theoretically would work out to 600 rounds per minute, but they cannot be reloaded fast enough to achieve anything near that rate in reality. But we are not talking about fully-automatic firearms—we’re talking about semi-automatics, and the difference between them need not be explained here.

I think that’s a good way to frame that issue.  Machine guns aren’t these scary objects that spew death and hellfire from their barrels, but that’s not what we’re talking about either.  This changes the subject, without throwing machine guns under the bus.  Is NRA deliberately being more careful about this?  I hope so.

NRA members who own AR-15s and other so-called “assault weapons,” you are not alone. There are nearly two million AR-15s in our country, the same number of M1s, the same number of M1 Carbines, and many more Mini-14s, semi-automatic shotguns, pump-action shotguns, and all the other guns the anti-gunner want to call “assault weapon.” Countless millions of American own handguns that use magazines of over 10 rounds.

I would say that passes the Heller “common use” test pretty soundly.

10 thoughts on “Good Arguments on the Assault Weapons Issue”

  1. “the difference between them need not be explained here.”

    But, But, But, I still think we need to make it clear that the Antis are counting on people confusing “assault weapons” with machine guns. It is a bait and switch tactic. Obama even mentioned AK-47s in his speech at the DNC convention.

  2. The assault weapons ban proposed by Carolyn McCarthy bans any firearm that was once used by any military from what I can recall.

    If such a ban as this gets passed into law, then I guess all of my surplus bolt-action WWII and WWI rifles, along with my reproduction 1860 Henry and flintlock Kentucky rifles, would suddenly become “assault weapons” and subject to the ban, being that they all have been used as military firearms at one time or another in history.

  3. I think McCarthy’s bill was any semi-auto that was once used by the military is presumptively banned… so that would be M1 Garands, M1 Carbines, SVTs, SKS, M1A, etc. I think it left bolt action rifles alone, but not pump action rifles, if I recall.

  4. Okay, let’s say this ridiculous Carolyn McCarthy semi-automatic firearm ban gets passed into law.

    If this would then mean that I cannot legally buy a surplus semi-automatic M1 Garand rifle, because it was once used by the military, but I can still legally buy a used Remington 7400 auto-loading carbine in .30-06, which is the same cartridge used in standard M1 Garand rifles, but was always considered to be a hunting rifle in states which allow such a rifle to be used for hunting, then I guess it will soon be just a matter of time before we all as gun owners are going to have to collectively say, “enough is enough,” and work diligently towards removing all of these gun-grabbers like Carolyn McCarthy from elected office once and for all.

  5. “I would say that passes the Heller “common use” test pretty soundly.”

    Indeed, but I think we should be leary of this issue of commonality. I think this can work against us in the long run if we are not careful. The issue itself is inherently vague and can be interpreted in the most extreme manner if we are not careful. I would like to push the issue of practicality and of parity concerning checking government abuse. I think that would be a better test especially concerning with the intent of the founders who saw the issue of arms as a mean of the citizens to protect themselves for their government.

    The issue of “commonality” is a step forward, and I recognize that, but I do not want to see ourselves get painted into a corner because we tend to focus upon that aspect.

    P.S.- Bitter, please come back!!! :-(

  6. I have ideas on getting around Heller’s issues, but for now common use is, well, useful. It is not the straitjacket, I think, that some make it to be.

  7. Actually, someone does make a belt-fed upper for your AR. If you had a full-auto AR you could do 600 easy with one of those babies.

    Not that full-auto ARs are what they’re talking about…

    Even if you had to twitch your finger with a semi-auto you should be able to get at least close to 300 if you tried hard.

    I’m just sayin’…

  8. “I would say that passes the Heller “common use” test pretty soundly.”

    Yes, but – I hope you realize we are fighting to hang onto a crippled version of the Second Amendment… not fighting to restore the Second Amendment to its original glory.

    The whole idea of “current common use” as a Second Amendment test is wholly inappropriate. The continuity of historic evolution of “common use” was artificially restricted by the National Firearms Act of 1934.

    By “continuity of historic evolution”, I mean that weapons in “common use” will evolve as technology evolves. If the arbitrary restrictions of the National Firearms Act of 1934 hadn’t disrupted the “continuity of historic evolution”, the restrictive concept of NFA weapons wouldn’t exist, and short barreled / full auto weapons WOULD BE in “common use”.

    From a Second Amendment perspective, the Heller decision was rendered incompletely – with many serious issues unanswered. The scope of the trial was limited by the specifics of the suit that was brought, so the Second Amendment is still crippled and handcuffed – compared to what it was intended to be.

    Have we become so accustomed to “current common use”, that we have forgotten that the Second Amendment ensures that citizens have “current” small arms technology?

    Let us never accept chains on the Second Amendment! Our battles are much bigger than we think…

  9. Nano:

    I agree the common use argument is less than ideal, but that’s what the Supreme Court gave us to work with, and the framework we’ll have to argue within for the foreseeable future, until other decisions give us ways around it.

    It’s not a matter of accepting chains, it’s a matter of what we have to work with legally if we have to challenge an assault weapons ban with the Second Amendment.

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